A Zostavax lawsuit may be an option for patients who received the vaccine and experienced severe side effects and complications. Zostavax is indicated for the prevention of shingles in people over the age of 50. However, lawsuits allege that the vaccine caused some plaintiffs to actually develop shingles and other serious complications, including blindness and death. Affected patients and their families may be able to seek compensation with the help of a dangerous drug attorney.
For more information, contact the American Injury Attorney Group for more information. We offer free, no obligation consultations. We can answer your questions, and if you choose to pursue a claim we connect you with an affiliated Zostavax lawsuit attorney who can assist you throughout the legal process.
Have You Seen Zostavax Lawsuit Commercial?
You may have seen a Zostavax lawsuit commercial on television and wondered whether you or a loved one have been affected by the shingles vaccine and, if so, whether you are eligible to pursue a claim against the manufacturer or others. The purpose of this article is to provide you with additional information so that you have a better understanding of your options.
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What is Shingles?
Shingles, also known as herpes zoster, is a painful skin rash caused by a reactivation of the dormant chickenpox virus. Although anyone who has had the chickenpox virus can develop shingles, it most commonly affects people aged 50 years or older. It is unknown why the virus may reappear after so many years, but it may be linked to a lowered immunity to viral infections as people grow older.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of the shingles virus may include:
- Pain, burning, numbness or tingling
- Sensitivity to touch
- A red rash that begins a few days after the pain
- Fluid-filled blisters that break open and crust over
Some people may also experience fever, headache, sensitivity to light and fatigue as a result of the shingles virus.
There is no cure for the shingles virus. However, early treatments and antiviral medications may be used to minimize complications associated with the viral infection. Children who receive the chickenpox vaccine and adults who receive the shingles vaccine may be able to reduce the risk of developing shingles.
What is the Zostavax Shingles Vaccine?
Zostavax is a single-dose vaccine used for adults over the age of 50 to prevent shingles. Zostavax contains a weakened chickenpox virus and works by helping the immune system protect people from getting the shingles virus.
The vaccine is manufactured and marketed by American-based Merck & Co., Inc., one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world.
If a person gets shingles even though they have been vaccinated, Zostravax can help prevent any nerve pain that can follow shingles in some people. The vaccine cannot be used to treat shingles or the nerve pain that may follow, once a person has the virus.
Some people should not get Zostavax, including:
- People who are allergic to any of its ingredients
- People who are allergic to gelatin or neomycin
- People who have a weakened immune system (particularly caused by an immune deficiency, leukemia, lymphoma or HIV/AIDS)
- People who take high doses of steroids by injection or mouth
- Women who are pregnant or plan to get pregnant
Zostavax cannot be used to prevent the chickenpox virus.
Zostavax Side Effects
According to the drug’s patient information sheet, the most common side effects that were reported in clinical studies include headache and redness, pain, itching, swelling, hard lump, warmth or bruising where the shot was given.
Other reported side effects may include:
- Hives at the injection site
- Joint pain
- Muscle pain
- Rash at the injection site
- Swollen glands near the injection site that may last a few days to a few weeks
Allergic reactions may also occur as well. These reactions can be serious and may include difficulty breathing or swallowing.
Other Zostavax Risks
Other risks have been linked to Zostavax, including blindness, paralysis, brain damage and death. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued two black box warning changes to Zostavax labels over concerns of the development of chickenpox and shingles, the virus targeted by the vaccine. In 2016, the FDA expanded the vaccine’s warnings to include the potential side effect of vision damage caused by necrotizing retinitis, or inflammation of the eye, that may lead to blindness in some cases.
Other adverse reactions have been reported to the FDA’s Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Those include gastrointestinal disorders, rashes, arthralgia, myalgia, anaphylactic reactions and necrotizing retinitis.
Lauren A. on May 16, 2016
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Zostavax Lawsuit Claims
According to FiercePharma, lawsuits filed in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania allege that Zostavax caused serious side effects, including blindness, paralysis, brain damage and death. Lawsuits also claim that the drug is only effective in approximately 51 percent of people who get the vaccine.
Zostavax Lawsuit News
- 2017Lawsuits filed in federal and state courts in Pennsylvania claim that Zostavax caused plaintiffs to suffer from serious side effects, including blindness, paralysis, brain damage and death.
- 2017According to Law360.com, a Nevada woman claims to have suffered high blood pressure, an eye injury, headache and dizziness.
- 2016FDA expands black box warnings to include information regarding the potential side effect of vision damage caused by necrotizing retinitis.
- 2014FDA issues black box warning to include information about the risk of the development of chickenpox and shingles in patients who receive the vaccine.
- 2011FDA expands the indication for Zostavax to include adults ages 50 to 59.
- 2006FDA approves Zostavax for the prevention of shingles in people 60 years of age and older.
How Can a Zostavax Lawsuit Help?
Drug manufacturers have a duty to ensure their products are accompanied by full and accurate instructions and warnings to guide prescribing doctors and other health care providers in making treatment decisions. If a drug maker fails to fulfill this duty, it could be held liable in lawsuits for injuries that may result.
Patients who are injured by Zostavax may be entitled to compensation for damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Pain, suffering, and mental anguish
- Loss of income or ability to work
The families of those who have died may be eligible to recover money for funeral expenses and the pain that comes with losing a loved one.